Twentieth-Century British and American Fiction
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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This course will examine a range of modernist literary texts from both Britain and America. We will consider modernism and its characteristics, trans-national and interdisciplinary modernist dialogue/s, and the social, political and theoretical contexts out of which the course texts – and literary modernism more generally – emerged. Students will read the set texts closely and engage with critical and contextual literature.
- Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
- Toni Morrison, Beloved
- Ian McEwan, Saturday
Students will be expected to purchase their own copies of the set texts. However, we recommend that you refrain from purchasing all the books on the list until it is established that the course is running.
Week 1 Introduction
Week 4 Nabokov, Lolita (1958)
Week 5 Nabokov, Lolita (1958)
Week 6 READING WEEK
Week 11 McEwan, Saturday (2005) / Conclusion, Question and Answer
Who is this course for?
Anyone with an interest in twentieth-century British and American fiction. On completion of the course students should be able to demonstrate an awareness of the characteristics of modernism and the international, literary, and historical contexts in which the set texts were produced. Students will be capable of close reading and textual and comparative analysis as well as demonstrating critical, analytical, and theoretical approaches.
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching are undertaken by means of small group work. This is a 10-credit course, so there will be two-hour meetings once a week (20 contact hours in all) which will include:
(a) lectures and seminars: these introduce the basic information to the students. Hence there will be basic seminar-style sessions with tutor leading with talk and PowerPoint presentations as basis for group discussion and questions and answers. Students will be invited to read up on relevant topics for homework including specific passages from the selected novels; and
(b) discussion and group work: where appropriate, students will work in small groups to reflect critically on set questions and to contribute their own ideas.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
There will be no formal examinations. There are two assessment choices for this course:
(a) 3 x 500-word writing assignments (equally weighted), and
(b) one essay of 1500 words at the end of the module (100%).
Your work will be assessed by your tutor, who will offer you written reports which we hope you will find constructive. The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are flexible and are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
This is not a comprehensive list. It is intended as a guideline to direct your further reading. Your tutor will suggest the essential and recommended texts from this list. You should also use the library databases and catalogues to build your own bibliographies.
- Ackroyd, Peter, Notes for a New Culture: An Essay on Modernism (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1976)
- Annesley, James, Blank Fictions: Consumerism, Culture, and the Contemporary American Novel (London: Pluto Press, 1998)
- Boone, Joseph Allen, Libidinal Currents: Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press, 1998)
- Booth, Howard J. and Nigel Rigby, eds., Modernism and Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
- Bradshaw, David, ed., A Concise Companion to Moderism (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2003)
- Brooker, Peter, ed. Modernism/Postmodernism (London: Longman, 1992)
- Bürger, Peter, The Theory of the Avante-Garde (1984)
- Campbell, Neil and Alasdair Kean, American Cultural Studies: An Introduction to American Culture (London: Routledge, 1997)
- Caputo, Leonard; Ebby, Clare and Reiss, Benjamin eds., The Cambridge History of the American Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
- Childs, Peter, Modernism (New Critical Idiom Series) (London: Routledge, 2000)
- Deen, Stella, ed., Challenging Modernism: New Readings in Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 (Aldershot; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002)
- DeKoven, Marianne, Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism (1991)
- Duvall, John ed., The Cambridge Companion to American After 1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
- Faulkner, Peter, Modernism (London: Methuen, 1977)
- Faulkner, Peter, ed., A Modernist Reader (London: Batsford, 1986)
- Goldman, Jane, Modernism, 1910-1945: Image to Apocalypse (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
- Griffin, Gabriele, Difference in View: Women and Modernism (London; Bristol, PA: Taylor & Francis, 1994)
- Hanscombe, Gillian E. and Virginia Smyers, Writing for their Lives: the Modernist Women, 1910-1940 (London: Women’s Press, 1987)
- Harding, Desmond, Writing the City: Urban Visions and Literary Modernism (London: Routledge, 2003)
- Heinzelman, Kurt, Make it New: the Rise of Modernism (Austin, Tex.: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 2003)
- Hewitt, Andrew, Political Inversions: Homosexuality, Fascism, & the Modernist Imaginary (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996)
- Levenson, Michael H., Modernism and the Fate of Individuality: Character and Novelistic Form from Conrad to Woolf (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)
- Levenson, Michael H., ed., The Cambridge Companion to Modernism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
- North, Michael, The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language, and Twentieth-Century Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)
- Pease, Allison, Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
- Rainey, Laurence, ed., Modernism: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
- Scott, Bonnie Kime, Refiguring Modernism, 2 vols, (Indiana University Press, 1995)
- Scott, Bonnie K., ed., The Gender of Modernism: A Critical Anthology (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990)
- Valentine, Kylie, Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry and Modernist Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
- Waugh, Patricia, Practising Postmodernism, Reading Modernism (London: Edward Arnold, 1992)
- Weston, Richard, Modernism (London: Phaidon, 1996)
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.